RSF calls for Eastern Libya media ban on 11 TV channels to be lifted

By Sami Zaptia.

RSF has called on Libya’s eastern-based Interim Government to reverse its ban on eleven TV channels (Photo: RSF).

London, 18 July 2019:

International NGO, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), yesteday called on the Libyan Interim Government based in Eastern Libya, to explain the order it has issued to municipal authorities not to cooperate with 11 TV channels.

This ban must be lifted in order to respect the public’s right to information, RSF said.

The order was issued yesterday by the General Broadcasting Authority of the Interim Libyan Government based in the east of the county and headed by Abdulla Thinni.

RSF referred to this government as being “controlled by Gen. Khalifa Haftar”. The order accuses the 11 TV channels of “justifying terrorism” and “threatening social peace.”

The TV channels named in the order are Libya al Ahrar TV, Panorama TV, Attanasoh TV, Salam TV, Al Wassat Radio and Television, the Arraed Group, Annabaa TV, Febrayer TV,  Al Watan TV, Libyan National Television and Arrasmia TV.

“The Libyan media are embroiled in an unprecedented crisis and several have found themselves enlisted willy-nilly into belligerent factions,” said Souhaieb Khayati, the head of RSF’s North Africa desk.

“As well as using the media as propaganda tools, the Libyan conflict’s political and military actors are turning into news censors. This latest violation of the public’s right to news and information is just aggravating the national crisis. We call for these bans to be lifted.”

Libya is ranked 162nd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.

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